In the current economic climate, we find ourselves with millions of highly intelligent, overqualified job seekers around the world fighting for the same jobs. Millions of Curriculums Vitae’s emailed every day, followed by millions of phone calls, followed by millions of interviews, followed by rejection and disappointment.
In today’s competitive job market, it seems that intelligence, great qualifications, or even a burning desire are not enough to get you the job you want any more. At any given time, thousands of people just as clever as you, just as experienced and hard working are applying for the same position as you, so how are you going to stand out from the rest and get the job you want?
If you’ve made it to the interview room, then you have done something right. You have got something: a final chance to impress, influence and persuade so you can get what you want. Here, Anna Aparicio, top Irish NLP Life Coach and Confidence Expert, shares her proven tips on how to knock the socks off your interviewer and get that job offer, fast:
1. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
Believe that you are the best candidate for the job. Hoping, wishing, or even badly wanting it is not enough, and it may even go against you. Just as it happens when looking for love, giving out a vibe of neediness, may put your interviewers right off.
They are not going to offer you the job because you need it, or hope to get it. The job will be offered to the person who “gets to them”; the person who makes the best, most impactful and lasting impression; that person they can vividly imagine working with; hat person they can see themselves dealing with day in and day out, that sounds good to them, and that when they think about you, they get a good feeling.
Remember that there are lots of other jobs out there for you and that it may take some time to find your ideal job. However, it is up to you to walk into that interview with a sense of self-belief and confidence that will simply knock your interviewer’s socks off.
2. KNOW WHAT YOU ARE SELLING
You are not selling your CV, your new suit or how nice a person you are. You are selling feelings! Remember that your interviewer is only human. And most decisions we make as humans are not based on logic, but on feelings. You have to realise that the interview is not really about you, it’s about your interviewer. As well as how well you match your talents, experience and skills to the job, the company and people in it, you also have to focus on making your interviewer feel good. When people feel good around you, they are more likely to like you and promote you.
What simple things can you do to help your interviewer be at ease and feel good around you? Look your very best on the day. Dress professionally. Smile, give a firm handshake – without squeezing! and keep eye contact with your interviewer throughout the interview. Also, be aware of your body language.
3. DO YOUR RESEARCH
This may seem pretty obvious, but I am always surprised to hear human resources staff at the companies I work with complain about interviewees’ lack of preparation. Knowing the name of the company you are applying for and kind of liking what they do is not going to cut it!
Research the company. Become curious and genuinely interested in what they do, how they do it, their mission, their people… learn as much as you can about what is most important to the company you are applying to work for. If you are applying for a position you have no previous experience on, it may be a good idea to speak to someone who is already doing that job, or has done it before. Spend some time with them, ask some good questions, and learn!
Also, know yourself, your strengths and weaknesses and how they’ll affect that particular job. Remember, for every weakness you mention, buffer it up with two strengths!
I am stunned when I speak to personal clients who have job interviews coming up and they tell me they haven’t rehearsed.
Imagine being an actor and showing up to film without knowing your lines. No matter how good you think you are, you are bound to mess up.
Certain questions are to be expected at your interview. For example, the infamous “where do you see yourself in five years’ time?”, “what are your strengths and weaknesses?” or “do you have any questions?”
Know your answers to these and other potential questions, give specific examples and avoid going off subject. Answer questions confidently and in a way that presupposes you are the right person for the job.
5. BE ON TOP FORM ON THE DAY
You may be thinking this is easier said than done, especially if your upcoming interview is your fiftieth so far.
Well, this may be your fiftieth lucky interview! The more confident and relaxed you are, the better you will perform.
It helps to run through the interview in your mind before it happens. Imagine being already there. Imagine things going perfectly, exactly the way you want them to go. See what you’ll see, hear what you’ll hear, and feel how good it feels knowing you did your best and that you made a great impression.
Make sure you eat healthily the day before your interview, and sleep well. Avoid simple carbohydrates, sugary foods and caffeine as they play havoc with energy levels and mental clarity. Drink plenty of water and do a few breathing exercises. It’ll help you relax, be more aware and in control of things.
6. ASK QUESTIONS
A lot of companies are looking for more than just someone who can do the job. They are looking for proactive people with a personality and vision.
Show the type of person you are and how interested you are in the job by asking questions regarding growth and opportunities.
Think about what you would be looking for if this was your company or you were the interviewer. By imagining what you would expect, you can put yourself in a more resourceful mindset.
After the interview, wait a week or so and if you haven’t heard from your interviewer, contact him and get some feedback. This is a way of reminding them of you, and also of finding out useful information you can use to get the job you want!
Anna Aparicio is co-author of the book 101 Great Ways To Enhance Your Career, available at http://www.dublinnlplifecoach.com